Prestonwood Baptist Church
|Prestonwood Baptist Church|
|Senior pastor(s)||Jack Graham|
Prestonwood Baptist Church, in Plano, Texas, is one of the largest and fastest-growing megachurches in North America according to a 2012 study  and one of America's 50 Most Influential Churches according to a 2007 survey of church leaders. The Plano campus covers an area of 140 acres (0.219 sq mi; 0.567 km2), and includes a 7,000-seat worship center, a school offering Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, a fitness center, a sports stadium, sports fields, a cafe, a library, and two bookstores. In 2006, the church expanded to include a second "North" campus of nearly 128 acres (0.200 sq mi; 0.518 km2) in Prosper, Texas. In 2011 the church again expanding adding a "Dallas" campus near LBJ Freeway and Hillcrest.
Beliefs and Mission
The mission of Prestonwood Baptist Church is to glorify God by introducing Jesus Christ as Lord to as many people as possible and to develop them in Christian living using the most effective means to impact the world, making an eternal difference in this generation.
The beliefs center around eight principles:
- There is one God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; who subsist in unity, and also as three separate distinct Persons
- The Holy Spirit is the divine helper, assistant, counselor and instructor and His work is to reveal Christ, convict of sin, lead to repentance, guide believers, comfort, strengthen, and sanctify the soul
- The Bible is God’s Holy Word, without error, and is the sole authority for life
- Human beings are the special creations of God, made in His image. They fell through the sin of the first man, Adam, and all human beings are sinners in need of salvation
- Salvation is a gift through repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. Every person who truly is saved is eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ and will spend eternity in heaven, while those who die in their sins will spend eternity in hell
- Baptism is by immersion after salvation and is done in obedience to Jesus Christ’s command
- Each believer has direct access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ
- The Church is a local body of baptized believers with the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head
Prestonwood was founded on February 6, 1977, as an offshoot of Northway Baptist Church. Under founding pastor Bill Weber, the new organization grew considerably, and within six years had constructed a 4,000-seat worship center. By 1988, Prestonwood had grown to 11,000 members and the same year, Pastor Weber confessed to an extramarital affair and stepped down from the pulpit.
- In 1989, Dr. Jack Graham replaced Weber as Senior Pastor of Prestonwood, by this time considered a "megachurch" because of its rapid expansion into one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States.
- In 1994, the church's leadership began plans for a 7,000-seat worship center. Services were first held on May 2, 1999. The church continued to expand its facilities throughout the next decade. Soon after the opening of the new worship center, the first phase of the new Prestonwood Sports and Fitness Center (SFC) was completed. In August 2003, the church completed the second phase of the building, which featured a new chapel, a 100 feet (30 m) "Faith Tower" topped by a cross, a student ministry area, restaurant and commons, additional space for Bible fellowship and administrative offices. Two years later, the Prestonwood Christian Academy High School opened on the west side of the church campus.
- 2006 saw the continued expansion of Prestonwood with the opening of its second campus in Prosper, Texas, near U.S. Highway 380 and Dallas Parkway. That same year, the church also completed a new children's wing and updated its facilities for PowerPoint Ministries, including an upgrade to High Definition (HDTV).
- In 2009, Prestonwood launched a weekly Worship Service in its Faith Chapel to reach Spanish-speaking communities. Prestonwood en Español has experienced tremendous growth, and in September 2012, the service moved to the Plano Campus Worship Center to accommodate the thriving congregation.
- Prestonwood opened a third campus in 2011 in Dallas by purchasing Hillcrest Church for approximately $18 million. Renovations were completed shortly thereafter and more than 2,300 attended the first Worship Service at the Dallas Campus on Aug. 21, 2011.
- On September 23, 2012 Prestonwood's North Campus in Prosper celebrated the opening of a 75,000 square-foot building expansion. The new building provides space for growing ministries, including children’s and adult Bible Fellowship classrooms, full-size gymnasium, student ministry space, bookstore and commons area for gathering.
- The church reached the 38,000-member mark in 2015, with regular attendance at worship services averaging around 17,000.
With a staff of over 50 ministers, Prestonwood provides biblical teachings and worship services in the Baptist tradition. It also has Bible Fellowship classes, a 500+ member church choir, and specialized ministries for adults, children, students and Spanish speakers, as well as mission outreach at local and global levels.
The church operates a sports ministry, known as the Prestonwood Sports Organization (PSO), which offers youth baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, futsal, and soccer, each serving approximately 1,000 children annually. Additionally, PSO offers adult basketball, softball, volleyball, fitness training, as well as other activity programs.
The Prestonwood Pregnancy Center began as a ministry of Prestonwood Baptist Church in 1991 and is a separate nonprofit, providing free and confidential guidance, pregnancy tests, early pregnancy sonograms, educational classes and post-abortion support groups.
In April 1994, Prestonwood launched a broadcast ministry called PowerPoint Ministries  with Dr. Jack Graham, which is today broadcast globally on television and radio as well as available online and through audio and video podcasting.
Prestonwood Christian Academy
In May 2008, 52-year-old Joe Barron, a minister at the church, was arrested for soliciting sex from an officer posing online as a 13-year-old girl. Two days later, Senior Pastor Jack Graham addressed the scandal from the pulpit. In his address, Dr. Graham said the accused pastor had been asked to resign and had done so.
- , Outreach Magazine, retrieved 2013-03-17
- 50 Most Influential Churches in America[dead link]
- Hodges, Sam & Appleton, Roy. "Booming church not done growing", Dallas Morning News, 2006-03-28
- , church website, retrieved 2015-03-06
- "History - Prestonwood Baptist Church". Prestonwood Baptist Church. September 10, 2006.
- Prestonwood Life, February/March 2007, retrieved 2008-05-16
- Parmley, Helen, Prestonwood Pastor Resigns, Dallas Morning News, 1988-10-09
- "Our Story - Prestonwood Baptist Church". Prestonwood Baptist Church. January 14, 2014.
- Leadership & Staff, church web site, retrieved 2015-03-06
- , Prestonwood Pregnancy Center
- Powerpoint Ministries
- "The Gift of Christmas - Prestonwood Baptist Church". Prestonwood Baptist Church. February 29, 2012.
- Chavez, Stella, Prestonwood Baptist pastor: Church appalled, disgraced by minister's sex sting arrest, Dallas Morning News, 2008-05-18, retrieved 2008-06-05
- Fullhart, Steve (September 29, 2009). "Former Texas Minister Sentenced In Teen Sex Solicitation Case". KBTX-TV. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- Prestonwood Baptist Church official website
- PowerPoint with Jack Graham official website of PowerPoint Ministries